American Presidents have long been a favourite of movie going audiences. From JFK to Nixon to even George Bush Jr., Hollywood has run out a long list of movies based on the lives of these important men. Lincoln isn’t the first movie based on the life of the 16th President of the United States, in fact it isn’t even the first movie this year about him (although the first was purely a work of fantasy that saw him hunting vampires in his spare time), but thanks to Steven Spielberg directing it it has the potential to be one of the best.
Lincoln takes place over the last few months of Abraham Lincoln’s (Daniel Day-Lewis) life. It focuses on his desire to free the slaves for once and for all, at the same time as he bids to end the civil war. It shows what he must do in order to claim the necessary votes from the senate to pass his controversial bill, while handling his personal life with his friends and family. It’s an intimate look into the wonderful man’s life that is brought to an untimely end after he makes history.
Lincoln wouldn’t be as good as it is without Daniel Day-Lewis. The man simply knows how to act and bring his characters to life. Some will wonder why he chose to make Lincoln’s voice as high as he did, but history has written that the man’s voice was indeed that way. His performance is methodical and slow, portraying the man as a thoughtful President who does everything for a reason. You find yourself drawn to him, and when you are watching the screen you feel as if you’ve been given a glimpse into the past. He will receive yet another Oscar nomination for the role, and it will be well deserved. Like usual Spielberg tries to make everything look authentic, and you feel like you’ve been transported to a different era. And the way he decided to show the assassination of the president was unique and gives a different perspective than what has been shown in the past. Once again he works with composer John Williams, who gives us yet another memorable score.
Like the man Abraham Lincoln, the movie is slow paced, but it is worth the two and a half hours to see it on the big screen. There are no explosions or action sequences, so most younger people will probably find themselves getting bored, but it’s a piece of history that needs to be remembered. Perhaps one day it will be shown in school to give children a sense of who Lincoln was, and what he means to not only the United States, but the world.